As the most overworked culture in the history the world (by choice that is), we recognize that Rest for the sake of our work occurs at a physical level to be sure, but there is a deep rest, a soul rest as Jesus put it, that is necessary.

There is a rest that is needed for the work beneath the work — the striving for significance and identity, worth and value in what we do and not in whose we are.

“Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. [29] Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. [30] For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-30 ESV

Jesus: “The Son of Man is Lord of the sabbath.”

Jesus is the Lord of rest. Jesus fulfills all that God began at creation, intended in the sabbath, and hopes for his church. Jesus’s final claim on the sabbath rest came on the cross: “It is finished.”

It is good. It is finished. I am completely satisfied. This is very good.

So then, there remains a Sabbath rest for the people of God, for whoever has entered God’s rest has also rested from his works as God did from his. Hebrews 4:9-10 ESV

Two types of rhythm to this life (two “Options” per se):

  1. Works based model
    • did I measure up? did I exceed expectations? Did I work enough to get the praise, the prize, the raise?
    • No rest for the weary here.
  2. Jesus is Lord model
    • For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin so that in him we might become the righteousness of God (2 Corinthians 5:21 ESV)
    • I am loved by God. He has given me a work to do that is founded on his work on the cross.
    • At the end of this week/work/project I can be satisfied in what I have done
    • All because I am not my job
    • All because of I am a son/daughter of God

Once we choose the Jesus is Lord model for our life, there are some practical decision we can make for living with good rhythm. We should consider these disciplines in this life, because no one naturally rests as much as he should.

Rest should always be restorative. Immediately after his claim to be “Lord of the Sabbath,” Jesus goes and heals a man.

May these practices restore our souls:

Inner Disciplines (new mindset):

  1. Rest should be liberating.
    • You are not your job. You are not a slave to your job description, your calendar, your phone, or you company.
    • Learn to say no.
  2. Rest is an act of Trust
    • You are not God. He provides for you and your family.

External Disciplines (things you do):

  1. Assume that you should take more sabbath time.
    • Odds are you don’t take enough.
  2. Balance your sabbath time:
    • Fun – Do something that brings you happiness
    • Worship – spend some part of the day devoted to the Lord
    • Inactive – spend part of your day letting your thoughts come, and letting them go
  3. Inject sabbath time in to your work.
    • Create margin in your daily routines.
    • This may cause you to “fall behind” others in your field. Your soul is not worth sacrificing.
  4. Community matters.
    • Be accountable to your commitment to rest – whether it be to your community group or your family.